Feel Better While Eating

Feel Better While Eating

Do you enjoy your meals at the table?  Or do you scarf them down standing by the kitchen counter or over the stove?  Do you eat with your family most nights?  Or is the norm for you to each grab whatever you can whenever you are home? I know I’m not the first one to mention how important it is to eat together as a family regularly, but in addition to the often acknowledged benefits for your kids, there are strong health benefits for YOU too. By sitting down to eat, you are automatically going to eat better.   You’ll notice what’s on your plate – the colors, quantities and appearance.  If you start to pay attention to this you can begin to make small changes – smaller quantities, a wider variety of colors, etc. Challenge yourself to not just enjoy the company around you but to begin eating mindfully.  Chew each bite completely (this will help with bloating and stomach issues), place your fork down between bites.  Think about what you are eating and enjoy all the nuances and flavors. Delicious. Used to having the TV on while you eat?  Turn it off.  If you eat with the TV on, I guarantee you will eat more.  Your body doesn’t realize it’s full when it’s distracted.  And it’s easy to mindlessly shovel more food into your mouth when you aren’t paying attention to each bite. Why should you make eating mindfully a practice?  Because you deserve it!  You deserve to enjoy your meals – after all eating is a part of everyday so why not make it enjoyable?  Right?  In...
Transition from work to home driving you CRAZY?

Transition from work to home driving you CRAZY?

I can’t believe it’s our last week in this series around creating calm and reducing stress.  Hopefully you’ve been practicing some of the breathing exercises, using your RC and eating more mindfully.  This week I want to turn your attention to another common area of stress – transition time. Although there are many transition times during the day (home to work; afterschool; dinnertime; bedtime), I want to dive into one that all of us working moms have – the transition from work to home.  Regardless of if you are physically driving home from work or simply attempting to turn off the computer and focus on your family, this can be an especially dicey and stressful transition. Odds are good you didn’t finish everything you wanted to do at work (do we ever?), so it can be hard to move from that work mentality to start enjoying your family.  Instead of making that transition rushed and harried, try slowing it down a bit.  Use it to switch off your work mind, release any negativity that invaded your workday and move into a calm, enjoyable evening.  Even if you  have an evening of running kids around planned, you can still change your attitude and make the most of it! Let’s begin… Step 1:  Leave work behind.  Close your computer – signify to your brain that work is over. Step 2:  Leave your office area.  Either get in your car, bus, etc. to drive home or leave your work area if you work at home.  Take 3 big inhales and exhales and smile. Step 3:  Find something that lifts your mood, and...
Just ONE Minute

Just ONE Minute

Have you been incorporating 5 minutes of calm in your morning?  Been practicing your 1 minute breathing?  If so, how have you been feeling?  Hopefully a little calmer?  Are you able to stop in moments of stress and redirect?  If not, just keep practicing and try adding this week’s lesson to your arsenal. I know some of you prioritize exercise.  Or at least you WANT to prioritize it and just do it whenever you can.  This week I want to encourage you to add just 1 minute of breathing to the end of each workout.  Just one minute and you’ll leave your workout session (whatever it is) feeling stronger, more centered and ready to face the rest of your day. It really happens.  Just try it if you don’t believe me. Why is this the case?  It’s simply the way your body works.  First, stress begins and ends with your breath.  When you get stressed or overwhelmed, you’ll start holding your breath.  Then you begin to tense your muscles.  Soon you feel worse.  If you slow down your breathing, your body will start to relax, your mind will stop racing and you can move forward in a calmer matter. A great way to begin is to add a short savasana to your workout.  This is the yoga pose that ends almost every yoga practice.  It’s often also called rest pose or corpse pose.  To do it, simply lay down on your back, legs and arms naturally turned up and out, close your eyes and breathe in and out deeply.  Allow your body to relax into the ground, feel your muscles...
Start Your Day with 5 Minutes of Calm

Start Your Day with 5 Minutes of Calm

This month we are going to slow things down. The crazy holiday season is coming so hopefully you can enjoy a little calm before it arrives. I’ll also be teaching you some terrific methods for reducing stress and calming your mind. Practice them now and they will come in handy for the rest of the year. We’ll start this series off with the way you begin your day. You wake up late or to a blaring alarm clock, rush around the house making breakfast, packing lunches, making sure everyone has everything in their backpack, getting yourself showered, dressed and ready for work – maybe grabbing a coffee to go? If that sounds like your current morning, then no wonder you start each day off feeling stressed and behind. Maybe you still have to do all that, but wouldn’t you love to begin the day with a few minutes of calm first? Amazingly, 5 minutes of calm will make the rest of the morning bearable AND put you in a better mood. Here’s how to do it: First things first, change how you wake up. If your alarm is annoying, why do you use it? Why not switch to music you love? My daughter set her alarm to birds chirping – love it! Next, hop on out of bed (so you don’t fall back asleep) and grab a glass of water – hydrating will wake you up gently and it’s been hours since you consumed anything so your body needs that water. While you are enjoying your drink, take a few minutes and appreciate the fact that it’s a new...
My Favorite Books – September 2017

My Favorite Books – September 2017

Well, I read a ton of fiction this month, so that’s what I’ll be sharing.  A couple of REALLY good ones, so check them out: I really loved this book.  It was quirky, funny and emotional.  Leia has a chance encounter with a masked Batman at a comics convention with interesting consequences.  As she is coming to terms with that, she discovers her Grandmother is quite ill, so she heads down to her home to figure out what comes next.  Finally, her step-sister has a situation of her own that Leia gets involved with.   Throughout it all, the bonds of family are what keeps everything together.  My rating 5 out of 5. Another great and very entertaining book.  Eleanor Oliphant is quite the unusual heroine.  Eleanor has no social skills, she likes things a certain way and doesn’t deviate from her routine at all.  She’s created a very small and safe life for herself.  When she and her co-worker happen to help out a older gentleman who collapses, her life starts changing.  The question is, can Eleanor keep up, and does she want to?  My rating 5 out of 5. Yet another unique main character (I’m starting to see a theme with my favorite books this month!), Ginny Moon is an autistic teenager who is living in her “forever home” with her “forever parents.”  However, Ginny’s “forever mom” is expecting a baby.  And Ginny’s birth mother has found her and wants her back.  Ginny doesn’t want to go back to her birth mother, but needs to in order to get back something she left behind when she was taken.  The...
Get Moving to Stay Healthy

Get Moving to Stay Healthy

Exercise is the final piece of staying healthy.  It really does give you more energy and is an amazing stress reliever.  Less stress = healthier you Daily exercise doesn’t have to be an hour long workout or trip to the gym.   Simply fitting some type of physical activity into each day will reap huge benefits – especially if your prior exercise level was zero! The trifecta of healthy exercise includes cardio, weight bearing and stretching.  All three are important, so you need to be sure to include some form of each of them into your routine every week. Cardio is anything that gets your heart pumping.  It’s important for heart and lung function, and helps burn calories.  Walking or running is probably the easiest way to get your cardio – aim for 30 minutes a day most days of the week.  All you need is a good pair of shoes and some water.  Classes at the gym or via DVD or YouTube are another fun option. Weight bearing exercises such as lifting weights (light ones are fine) or using your body (think pilates or even old school exercises like push ups and squats) are important for strenghtening your muscles.  These exercises are the ones that keep you looking lean and feeling strong.  They are critical for us to maintain that muscle mass and bone density as we get older, so please don’t forget to do some of these each week – a few times a week is sufficient. Stretching helps keep us loose and feeling good (less achy), and is also a fantastic stress reliever.  Yoga, pilates or...
Go to Bed!!!

Go to Bed!!!

Just as critical as eating well, getting a good night’s sleep will help keep you healthy this fall.  Without adequate sleep our bodies start to run down and can’t function as well.  We start making poor food choices, we become more susceptible to colds and we aren’t able to fight off germs as well as if we are well rested. I’m sure you’ve noticed how you often get sick after a time period of being really overworked and worn out?  Late nights, stress and early mornings almost always lead to illness. Getting a good 7 to 9 hours of sleep allows your body to do its job to restore and repair.   Cut that time short and eventually you’ll start feeling it. Need some tips for a good night’s sleep? Create an evening routine to get your body ready to go to sleep. If you do the same few things every night at about the same time, pretty soon your body will recognize that this means sleep is coming soon.  This will make it easier to fall asleep quickly. Set a bedtime and stick to it. Don’t do that “one more thing” – if it is bedtime, go to bed.  This might mean leaving some tasks undone and that’s okay.  When you are well rested tomorrow morning you will be able to tackle them more efficiently (and with a better attitude). Try diffusing a calming essential oil or even rubbing it on the bottom of your feet – this can be very soothing and enjoyable as you drift off to sleep. Turn off all your blue screens – no TV,...
Stay Healthy This Fall – Food

Stay Healthy This Fall – Food

With the kiddos in school, the germs are flying.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to get sick these days.  Sometimes you just can’t avoid a cold, but you can bet I plan on doing everything I can to stay healthy this year.  With those thoughts on my mind, all month I’ll be sharing my best tips and tricks for staying healthy.  As a bonus, doing these things will also help you feel healthier and happier! Eating well is an important component to staying healthy.  When you consistently eat junk, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs and you’ll start to feel run down.  Today I’ll share some of my favorite foods to bump up your immune system and load your body with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Dark leafy greens.  Greens such as kale, spinach and swiss chard are wonderful to add to your daily diet.  They are full of antioxidants, calcium, vitamins A,C, K and fiber.  Greens are also rich in anti-inflammatories.  Try to enjoy a cup or so each day. Apples.  Yes, that old saying about an apple a day keeping the doctor away has some validity to it.  Apples are loaded with fiber and also pectin – both of which keep you full longer.  So eat an apple and you are less likely to be hungry for junky snacks.  They are also very fresh and perfectly in season right now so will taste delicious and cost less.  My favorite way to stock my fridge with apples right now is a trip to the apple orchard. Sweet potatoes.  Another fabulous fall food with...
My Favorite Books from August 2017

My Favorite Books from August 2017

What a fun month of reading – I really enjoyed most of what I read this month.  Now that my kids are back in school, I’ve picked back up with reading some of what they are which is really fun – makes for good conversations around the dinner table! FICTION What a fun story.  Willow has a mother who is MUCH older than most – and quite the unique character.  The book focuses on the mystery of Polly – what made her who she is, and how Willow goes about figuring out her story is quite entertaining.  Loved the quirky characters, yet there was a bit of depth in the story too.  My rating 4.5 out of 5. Other fiction books I enjoyed this month were: The Sunshine Sisters (quite funny in parts but still a dramatic storyline), Fitness Junkie: A Novel, The One-in-a-Million Boy, and The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation. NON-FICTION So I just love Jenny Rosenstrach’s cookbooks – all of them!  This one was worth the purchase price for the marinara sauce and black bean quesadillas alone.  Yum.  I like her suggestions for making family dinner the norm – excellent tips if you need a nudge in that direction.  I bought it for the recipes!  My rating 5 out of 5. Hilarious – as a young teenager, Maya decides to follow the rules in an old book her father found in a thrift store on how to be popular.  The book was published in the 50’s and so you can imagine the advice.  Maya chronicals her experiences, successes and failures...

Make It Happen

You’ve decided to make this the year you learn something new and you’ve figured out how you are going to do it, right?  Now you need to just make it happen.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m fantastic with the planning portion of projects, but not so good with the implementation …  Don’t let that happen this time around – follow these tips and you’ll be successful:  Sign up.  I know that seems silly to even mention, but how many times have you said you will do something and then never got around to it? Block it out on your calendar.  As soon as you sign up either block out class times or block out time to spend learning.  For example, I’m doing an online course that doesn’t have set times so every Tuesday at 12:00 I block out my calendar for an hour to work on it. Make sure to give yourself time to practice.  Going to a language class once a week and never thinking about it again isn’t going to help you master a new language. Have fun with it.  After all, learning should (and can) be fun – if you have exercises or homework – do them.  If something you learn sparks an idea for you, try it.  If someone else can be involved (kids, friends, spouse), involve them. Celebrate your success.  Plan something fun or exciting for yourself to look forward to when you are finished.  I’m a huge fan of planning a fun or exciting day for when I finish a goal. If you’re new, here, welcome, I’m Pam and I’m a...

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